You go to Joe Fortes not for the food, not for the decor, or the spectacular service, but for the experience. The experience of being pampered, of being treated like royalty. Sure, some of it may seem a little canned, but still, it's an experience like no other restaurant I've been to (so far.....)
I've been here before, a very long time ago, but I lost all the pictures and wasn't able to do a review. The place is amazing. We were seated on the 3rd level, overlooking the rest of the restaurant, and had a view of the beautiful entrance, and the pianist. The jazz being played live reminded me of the The Rooftop in Regina.
Chivas Regal, 12 yrs, the perfect friend to any slab of beef.
The bread was really good, and they kept on refilling it....I probably should have controlled myself but the the salmon oil/vinigrette (below) was so good, I couldn't resist.
Haha, I was reading Elaine's (Oh My Sweet Tooth) post on this, she wants her butter! Actually, I really liked the salmon-based olive oil with the balsamic vingrette reduction, but butter would have been good too.
I'm sorry to say, but the chickpeas in this salad tasted like B.O. Hey, I never said the place was perfect, but not a big deal, just don't order this unless you like eating B.O.
I had half a dozen oysters. Joe's Gold Reid Island was the selection of the night for me. The cocktail sauce tasted like ketchup, but the horseradish was out of this world when used in combination with the sauce, a squirt of lemon and the oysters. I wanted to eat more, but I didn't want to spoil my appettite too badly.
My Ribeye Steak, 16 oz, Dry Aged Canadian Prime was invented by God, specifically for me (this, and Keg's Prime Rib, haha!). It was large, just the way I like it, it had a nice ratio of fat to lean, just the way I like it, and it was seasoned to perfection. I ordered it fat and bloody, but it came medium. Despite this, it still tasted like heaven with every single bite. I really, really wanted to eat the grisle and knaw on the bone for a bit, but it wasn't the time nor place for that sort of behavior.
Joe Fortes isn't a restaurant, it's an indulgence. I wouldn't want to go here too often because it would spoil me rotten. The services, well, our server in particular, was incredible. He was truly a professional, and he knew his job well. He catered to our every need, was friendly, but not overly familiar, he made suggestions that made sense instead of just trying to sell the everything under the sun to us, and most importantly, he made us feel like we belonged there.
The food for the most part was of very high quality, the presentation was as expected - beautiful. I still have yet to experience a chop house like Keen's, haha, where the veg is supposed to look unappetizing. But the veg at Joe Fortes was actually quite tasty, even though they momentarily discracted me from the main objective - the meat.
Do you remember that scene in The Matrix where Cypher is in that fancy restaurant, eating that inredibly tasty looking steak? That's Joe Fortes in a nutshell. Save this one for special occasions.